Dear God . . .
What follows is a prayer from the broken whose hearts have wandered from Your ways . . .
God, we ask You to turn our eyes from worthless things…
The Scriptures have a word for this, repentance. Unfortunately, this word has so many negative connotations in our culture. It is often put into the same category as judgment, self-righteousness, and arrogance. Historically, repentance has been misused, abused, and weaponized causing immense harm to our fellow humans…humans You created.
I am confident this has not been Your intent. Your Scriptures teach us that repentance is the seed of holiness which produces the fruit of love, generosity, selfless-servanthood, and obedience.
Your son Jesus taught us that repentance is the most important turn we will ever make in our lives. It is the turning of our hearts away from worthless things like pride, distrust, and disobedience. It is the Holy Spirit empowered process of becoming free to flourish, to love deeply, to forgive, to serve with immense joy, and to craft a life of generosity. Repentance is the life-giving turn of admitting we have turned to worthless idols to fill our souls, apologizing to You for this, and asking You to align our hearts with Yours. You have said this so powerfully through the writer of Hebrews…
Therefore, since we are surrounded by such a great cloud of witnesses, let us throw off everything that hinders and the sin that so easily entangles. And let us run with perseverance the race marked out for us, fixing our eyes on Jesus, the pioneer and perfecter of faith. For the joy set before him he endured the cross, scorning its shame, and sat down at the right hand of the throne of God…Hebrews 12.1-2 [NIV].
God, as we traverse this forty day prayer journey please reveal to us the things that entangle us. Show us what is keeping us from flourishing in our relationship with You. Show us what needs to go. We invite You to untangle and heal our sin that we cannot overcome. You are invited to untangle the bitterness, resentment, and anger that resides in our hearts from a broken relationship. We plead with You to untangle our hearts from the many false idols that reside there and steal glory from you. Please replace our false idols with worship, honor, and adoration for you alone.
God, please make this a season of rebirth, transformation, and a renewed energy to follow your ways. God, we ask that your Spirit be poured out into our lives in a way that surprises us, fascinates us, and in a way that leads to profound obedience. Amen.